A New “Personal Style Analysis” Is On The Rise In Korea, But It’s Receiving Mixed Reactions Online

Is it helpful, or is it detrimental?

Following the “personal color” boom in Korea—categorizing people into four seasons and 16 subgroups to pick out the best hair, makeup, and outfit colors based on their skin “tones”—there is another personal test on the rise: The “Body Style Analysis.”

Hyeri getting her personal color checked. | 혜리0609/YouTube

The Korean “Body Style Analysis,” developed and copyrighted by the Korea Bodystyle Analysis Association (KBAA), categorizes human bodies into three types: Straight, wave, and natural.

| Korea Bodystyle Analysis Association

According to the KBAA, straight-type bodies are “thick, taut, and top-heavy.” Wave-type bodies are “lean, supple, and bottom-heavy.” Natural-type bodies are “large-boned, structured, but not typically voluptuous.” 

The descriptions for each type are somewhat vague, but the KBAA website does categorize some Korean female celebrities into the three types: Actress Kim Hye Soo as the straight type, Son Ye Jin as the wave type, and Girls’ Generation‘s Yoona as the natural type.

Kim Hye Soo (left), Son Ye Jin (center), and Girls’ Generation’s Yoona (right) | Wikitree & SEDaily & Insight

KBAA claims that understanding personal body style types will essentially help people accomplish their best looks, accentuating the strong features and covering up insecurities and/or weaknesses.

KBAA analyzing the body types of Ha Ji Won (left) and Gong Hyo Jin (right). | @bodystyle.kr/Instagram

1. You can learn which designs and materials suit you.
You’ll be able to find the best design shapes and fabric textures for yourself.

2. You can learn which outfit styles suit you.
You’ll be able to find the best outfit details like length, waistlines, etc. for yourself.

3. You can learn how to style yourself.
You’ll be able to find the best styling tips for yourself.


As helpful as the idea of finding the best outfits sounds, the rise of the body style analysis is receiving mixed reactions online. While some believe the analysis would benefit those who want to dress better, others believe it is overall detrimental to body positivity, self-love, and even female empowerment.

| theqoo
  • “F*ck that! We don’t need any of this. And I’m offended these people analyzed my bias.”
  • “Why does it feel like everyone is so hung up on looking good? Just wear whatever you want and do your makeup however you want, folks.”
  • “I’ve seen them mix and match those types, too. LOL. Like what the heck is a wave-natural outfit?”
  • “Ugh, let’s all just wear what we want. Do what we like. Who keeps coming up with these tests and types? No wonder we’re all constantly analyzing each other’s skin tones and body shapes. Can we all please just live?”
  • “Yeah… I’m going to wear whatever the heck I feel like wearing. Makeup? I don’t care if I’m warm or cool. Or what season I am. I don’t care what my body type is. I don’t even care what my MBTI is. Isn’t it suffocating to be tied town to specific types and categories?”
| theqoo
  • “Sigh.”
  • “This has been super popular in Japan for a while now, actually. Please don’t bring it to Korea… Like, f*ck. It used to piss me off so much watching the Japanese analyze K-Pop idols with this.”
  • “I don’t get it, isn’t this basically suggesting more suitable outfits? Why is everyone so upset? Is there something I’m missing? I mean, even the personal color thing… It’s a suggestion for how to accentuate the best features on your face. Isn’t it kind of like that I Live Alone episode? The one where Jun Hyun Moo got help with coordinating his outfits?”
  • “What a joke, seriously. Stop analyzing and evaluating people’s looks and bodies as if we’re all pieces of meat at the butchers.”
  • “This lets you know if you look good in a skirt or slacks. If skirts work better for you, then it lets you know if an A-line or an H-line is better. It tells you what you didn’t really know about your body. It helps you with shopping. Nothing about this is as negative as you all make it sound.”

On another note, some criticized the KBAA and other body style consultants for using celebrity photos and clips to push their agenda. One naysayer pointed out, “K-Pop idols don’t deserve to become someone’s portfolio.”

| theqoo
  • “Love that every single one of their examples are women. HA, HA… Sigh.
  • “I find content like this to be detrimental AF. It’s all laid out nicely… but it’s no different than those toxic YouTube channels. Like, it’s all about picking apart someone’s flaws. It’s so toxic. Don’t these people ever feel bad they’re trying to make money off making people feel bad about themselves?”
  • “Why are they using Korean female celebrities in these videos for their portfolios? I guarantee those stars probably never gave consent. Like, if they wanted to present their work, they should’ve hired models. Or used their own bodies. At the very least, they should’ve made the celebrities unidentifiable. Absolutely shameless, I tell ya.”
  • “F*ck this.”
  • “What even is a structured body? LOL. Like, I don’t get this at all.”
  • “Ugh, this is SO MUCH. Too much.”
  • “What is it about the female body that make people do this…? Let’s just all wear whatever the heck we want. Please?”
  • “Wow… Who do they think they are to be analyzing my body? Sit the f*ck down, y’all.”
  • “A f*cking joke, really.”
  • “How rude, though? K-Pop idols don’t deserve to become someone’s portfolio.”
Source: Korea Bodystyle Analysis Association, @bodystyle.kr and theqoo

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